This Monday night was our first family night in a while. Holidays and work and life had gotten in the way the last few weeks. And with the parentals heading off cruising on Saturday for a couple of weeks it will be the last full family night for a while. This particular night was made extra special by the addition of my brother's love girlfriend.
So I decided to flick through all those lovely menu suggestions, and I picked out the 'Taste Of India' menu from Vegan Planet.
Here is the first course, which was actually just served with all the other food. It is 'Curried Cauliflower Pakoras', but I also used some sliced zucchini slices. Pretty tasty, though in my heart or hearts I am not much one for deep fried things and can only tolerate small amounts before being sick. They were quite nice as a bit of a treat though. I served them with this great tamarind chutney my mum gets from the deli. The pakoras can be fried a bit before hand and kept warm in the oven, but you wouldn't want to leave them too long or they will likely get soggy.
'Spicy Jasmine Rice With Carrots And Cashews' was the side dish, though if you are a lover of spice you can definitely add some extra, I have no lasting memory of spiny taste at all! You need cooked, cold rice for this recipe, so really when the time comes to making it, it is ready in a snap.
And the main event, as it was. 'Three Bean Dal', made with black beans (down to 12.5 cups in the freezer now I believe), kidney beans and yellow split peas. It is thick and filling and darn tasty! There were also two other main course recipes suggested - Tofu Vindaloo and Sweet Potato and Red Bean Curry. However as there were only the four of us and there is only so much room on the stove and so much room in our bellies I just picked one. I have made the Tofu Vindaloo before and it is great. The other curry shall have to wait for a different night.
And here it is, all together now! It makes for a very satisfying dinner indeed. The only thing it was maybe missing was something green... battered and fried zucchini aside... but that is probably just my addiction to green vegetables coming out. I have withdrawls if I don't get me some greens.
And, of course... let's not forget dessert! Tee hee! It is Coconut-Cardamom Rice Pudding, with pistachios and rose water. The rose water really didn't come through, even in smell, so next time I might add a bit more. Because it is summer here I served these chilled. It is creamy and sweet and delicious.
Overall a pretty great menu. It's a bit fiddly when it comes to the final count down of preparations. I love my mother, who was kitchen wench extraordinaire on the night, washing and drying up as quickly as I handed her new dirty dishes... what a champion! Then my brother volunteered to wash up as well. It was a great family night. The next few will be myself and my brother all on our own, but I am looking forward to making a few fun menus for the two of us.
On another note, I hope everyone had a fabulous New Year. Hopefully a fantastic 2009 awaits us all!